Injection molding: Modular conveyors the route to better productivity
For many manufacturers, one of the few remaining ways to gain noticeable improvements in productivity is to perfect the way they handle production flow. That usually points to conveyor systems. Lighte...
For many manufacturers, one of the few remaining ways to gain noticeable improvements in productivity is to perfect the way they handle production flow. That usually points to conveyor systems. Lighter weight, plastic “modular” conveyor systems promise hefty benefits, including much improved adaptability to production schemes, substantial productivity gains, low maintenance and high ROI.
Many companies with light- to medium-duty requirements are completely swapping out the old fixed steel, metal, or aluminum conveyors in favor of modular systems.
Todd Steele of Steele Plastic Equipment (Marysville, MI) says many of his customers have achieved significant productivity gains through reductions in manpower when switching to a modular system. “I recently sold a modular conveyor system to a company that had been packing and warehousing products, then moving them to another line for a secondary machine operation. The new modular conveyor enabled the products to go straight through to the secondary operation, reducing the manpower by six workers, eliminating the packing and warehousing procedure, and increasing overall throughput significantly,” he explains.
While Steele Plastic Equipment used to carry 12 product lines, today the firm specializes in supplying DynaCon modular conveyors, representing the line in Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio.
Composed of lightweight, high-impact plastic units, DynaCon’s system includes a wide variety of special sectional accessories, including cooling and packaging units as well as a radius turn section. With standard modules measuring 18 inches in length, DynaCon offers users maximum flexibility of configuration.
Rugged enough for most light- to medium-duty applications, modular conveyors are normally capable of handling approximately 100 pounds of total product weight per conveyor. When load requirements grow beyond these figures, it’s still the domain of the conventional fixed-length metal conveyor.
Steele says that conveyor system uptime is a critical factor for his customers. To get maximum uptime requires the ability to repair conveyor systems very quickly. If a forklift wipes out a chunk of a metal fixed conveyor, the system could be out of commission for a week or more. With an inventory of spare units and replacement parts, repairs can then be made to modular systems within hours.
“Most of my customers standardize on our modular system and keep an inventory of modules and components,” he explains. “When they need to change a motor or fix a belt, they have the product on hand. If they need additional modules or replacement parts, they simply call me and I can usually provide same-day shipping.”
The DynaCon line offers a “radius turn” module that Steele says also saves many of his customers substantial costs while simplifying operations. Featuring flexible, ribbed sides that allow users to make turns of up to 180, the radius turn module can eliminate the need for secondary fixed conveyors. “Using the DynaCon system with the radius turn, you can get your products to a destination using a single conveyor with a single motor,” he says. “Some of my customers were running two fixed conveyors using two motors to do the same thing, which was more expensive and a lot more cumbersome.”
Dynamic Conveyor Corp. 866-249-2641
* Written by Ed Sullivan, Power PR, on behalf of Dynamic Conveyor Corp.
Ultrasonic mold cleaning cuts labor costs
Traditional cleaning methods used by injection molders for mold cleaning are time consuming, labor intensive and abrasive. As well, the cleaning is generally performed by skilled personnel. By using ultrasonics for mold maintenance, the result is a cleaner mold with reduced manual labor and no wear.
In the past, several ultrasonic systems have attempted mold cleaning, but the results have not always been consistent.
Finnsonic has developed an ultrasonic cleaning system with an outstanding track record of success in Europe. One significant design and performance advantage of Finnsonic systems is the company’s proprietary submersible transducers.
Finnsonic develops a customized package solution for each customer, which combines the proper chemistry with the right size and design of cleaning system. Systems may be single, double or triple-tank configuration. The most common is the double-tank set-up for cleaning and rinsing.
Tech Sales Co. 416-410-1313